Quickwater Oracles is award-winning poet Ruth Thompson's engaging record of her channeled conversations with an astonishing range of beings, from trees and animals to faeries, dragons, and a host of others. Refreshingly sophisticated, vivid, and joyful, Thompson's first nonfiction book is reminiscent of Ross Gay's "The Book of Delights," offering a perfect companion for daily meditation, journaling, or group discussion.
The poetry’s exuberance is a nice balance to its weighty themes. Thompson blends classical New Age ideals—“inside is just as real an experience as life around you”—as well as more contemporary understandings of interconnection and mindfulness: “Love ... is more a state of full awareness.” Sometimes the notions can be a bit puzzling, like Thompson’s channeling of Gaia, who views current environmental devastation as “just the playing out of choices” but has “no preference” for what happens, but the work can be viewed as prophetic statements that bear fruit from the process of trying to understand them.
Thompson’s channeled voices emit unique personalities. A laconic horse concludes a brief poem with “That’s all I have to say,” while the dolphins are more frenetic (“You make whoop-poems! Hahahahaha!”), and the dragons enigmatic beings of power who declare “[b]ut know that vastness is vastness is vastness! We are not bigger than you!” Readers open to paranormal insights will enjoy Thompson’s idiosyncratic, unconventional poems and her mind-bending exploration of what the world could look like with some creative reorienting.
Takeaway: This joyful collection of free verse poses challenging alternative views of nature and humanity in a compact, unique style.
Great for fans of: Sanaya Roman, Isabel Martin-Ventura; Matt Buonocore’s Lost In Wonder.
Design and typography: A-
Marketing copy: B+
In a new collection of 101 vivid channelings, a published poet shares the communication she receives from the natural world: from beings real and fantastic, plants, water, stars, and the land .... [T]hese pieces – some poems, others prose – are playful and sensual; they pulse with energy and convey a sense of repose.... Each piece reinforces that everything is connected, that living in the moment is enough, that love dfor oneself and all things will bring joy, which is the natural state of the Universe.
Clarion Rating: 4 out of 5Quickwater Oracles is an inspiring, thought-provoking collection of spiritual poems and meditations that celebrate nature, humanity, creativity, and love.... While some of the book's philosophical subjects are deep, most of the poems are infused with a sense of playfulness, wonder, and joy.... [A] slow build toward jubilance appears in multiple poems, making the collection crackle with energy....The book's more imagery-centered poems, with their visual descriptions, are spectacular."
While Quickwater Oracles should be considered for all literary collections, this added value makes it a recommended pick for philosophy, self-help, and creative writers and readers, as well.... The fervor of its voice, the unconventional pieces that eschew propriety for passion, and the many insights into personal power and integrity that support these reflections are poignant, revealing, and powerful. Ideally, Quickwater Oracles will reach a wide, diverse audience audience with its rich, joyful channeling of nature, purpose, and spiritual, spirited reflections.